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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Empathy for Smokers, Especially Minors..

Even though yours truly does not smoke cigarettes, I feel pretty sorry for the tobacco industry

Their product seems to be more regulated, controlled and punished than that of marijuana which is an addictive gateway drug to harsher substances, no matter how noisy potheads argue otherwise

It would be a shock to some how much the product is taxed in individual states
The average extra tax on cigarettes per pack not counting state sales tax is $1.79 with Missouri the lowest at 17 cents per pack and Washington DC adding a whopping $4.50 to each pack and Puerto Rico charging $5.10 (this added tax was before the hurricanes devastated them)

Sounds like if you enjoy smoking, you best move to Missouri

Then all that big 'discovery' fake news over the years that nicotine is harmful and addictive which is as shocking as the realization that vaginal sex between two heterosexual partners without protection will likely lead to pregnancy
Now it seems there's a desire among many in Congress to raise the smoking age to 21 based on the popularity of vaping among teenagers as a substitute to cigarettes

Funny to think there was a time in society where teenagers married around 14-16 years old, worked, started families and were productive, responsible people who were adult in every way but biological age

Then over time we started to look at teens as older children, creating laws supposedly meant to protect them but in the process taking away their individual rights to decide for themselves how each wished to live
No real freedoms until they turn 18 and then magically on their birthday they get to have the privilege of voting for garbage (if liberal), getting into debt, gambling, fighting n' dying in war and smoking

Also a bit funny that as a teenager I am free to abort the living fetus inside me without parental consent but I wouldn't be allowed to light up a Marlboro afterward.

And now some want to extend cigarettes another three years to 21
Here's the thing that government never seems to understand - no matter how much they try to regulate or limit or control something, the individual spirit will fight it and he/she will do as they wish

Sometimes I think laws are made not for protection of others but because they know people will break them and the system can receive a financial benefit from punishing

So much money to be made by criminality it boggles the mind

Oh I don't mean criminals making money.. I mean the system
Let's do this simple exercise:  Pretend that starting tomorrow there was no more crime ever again.  No killings, no rapes, no robberies or muggings; no more felonies or misdemeanors, no more blue or white color crime

No one even drove over the speed limit or jaywalked...

So what would happen in this fictional utopia scenario

No one commits crime so no need for criminal attorneys or judges to hear the cases or bail bondsmen or bounty hunters or parole officers or jails or jailers or anyone else who financially profits from acts of criminality where is a culprit to apprehend and go through the legal process
As for police, it would be a skeleton force at best dealing with neighbor disputes and other trivial matters

No need for security guards or security cameras or installing bars on windows and storefronts

Think how many jobs would be lost especially good paying jobs requiring degrees..  A 100% law abiding society would destroy the economy

The system Needs people hurting one another to function.

Think on that a few moments
So what are penalties to sell cigarettes to a minor:

Fines from $200 to $1,000 depending..  Possible jail time up to 90 days..  In the case of businesses, a loss of their cigarette license

Just to sell a minor a cigarette because someone else deems it harmful

Maybe it is.. Maybe it is not.. 
As stated before, I never have smoked, never will and my decision had nothing to do with the law

And like drinking or owning a handgun, just because I do not do or possess these things, does not mean I have the right to tell you that you can not

Such a simple, easy to understand concept - an Individual controls Self and Not others; a member of the collective must control Everyone and Everything

And yet this is the real societal fight that never ends.
When I was a teenager, I remember my high school would have designated spots to smoke during lunch or before/after school..   I also remember seeing a vending machine on premises

No one cared..  As it should be

And all the nonsense about it causing cancer and ending one's life prematurely, just two words..

George Burns
The man smoked constantly and lived to 100..  Should it be implied that had the entertainer not smoked, he could have lived until 140

And then there's the wife of of actor Christopher Reeve who sadly died of lung cancer

Thing is, she never ever smoked in her life

So don't want to hear about health..

Some healthy people die young in car accidents..  Some very unhealthy people live super long lives... All a crap shoot really, and more people suffer annually with obesity and diabetes and no one in government wants to restrict cookies and Kool-Aid access to minors
Some teenagers are mature and can make more sound decisions about their lives at 15 or 16 years old than many adults seem to in their 20s and beyond..

But we decided a long time ago that teens are basically little idiots who need to be sheltered and protected with after school sports, video games & comic books so to retain their childhood innocence as long as possible

If that means keeping them intellectually and emotionally stunted, restricting their freedoms and depriving them of the same basic civil rights as an adult, then so be it
Will the smoking age ever be raised to 21?

Maybe..  Who knows..

Won't affect me directly either way as an adult but I'm empathetic to youth on this because I remember how frustrating it was to be controlled in so many ways as a teenager

And how no one over the age of 18 ever cared.